Genuine countryside. We haven’t photoshopped this.

A “fairly strenuous” walk

When I was little my parents made repeated attempts to get me to learn French, play the piano and put clothes in a cupboard rather than stewing them across the floor. Naturally I now do none of these things, not because they would be intolerable cruelties, but just because even the yawningly unrebellious need to hold on to something. (I remember a discussion at uni when we all realised what boringly pliant children we’d been, and that this probably wasn’t a coincidence.) Anyway, the point is that while these attempts at indoctrination clearly failed – parlez-vous anglais? – when it came to going on long walks I think I got a bit of Stockholm syndrome instead. I’m quite sure I didn’t used to approve of being dragged across Hampstead Heath, but this long ago transformed into a middle aged urge to stroll, which explains Grace and I actually spent her last Saturday in London going on a ramble. An actual ramble. In the actual countryside.

Well, Surrey.

Genuine countryside. We haven’t photoshopped this.

Genuine countryside. We haven’t photoshopped this.

It was my idea, obviously, although at this point I must make a major shout out of gratitute to the legendary diamond geezer because when I got home at one in the morning on Friday night I still hadn’t the foggiest clue where we should go. Thankfully my slightly inebriated brain followed the sound logic that “bloggers know everything and are always prompt e-mailers”, so by the time I woke up in the morning I had an itemised list of six potential destinations complete with links to past blog posts and travel instructions. Utterly amazing, and even if one day I discover he’s actually an elaborate PR-front for London’s tourism industry and written by a team of creative writers, fact checkers, proofers and site editors I’d still be very grateful.

In the end I plumped for Box Hill, found an awesomely detailed walk (which fulfilled my main criterion of having a pub in the middle of it) and set off to get lost, get back on track again, say nervous hellos to people passing in the other direction, locate the approximate clearing for Hagrid’s hut, upload photos of maize because neither of us knew what it was and still get the train back in time for Doctor Who. Determinedly uncool fun with unnecessary technological flourishes… I think I’ve just written my life’s mission statement

Look at this – I’ve rambled on (aha) for so long that I’ve run out of time to mention the two book launches – “sorry, I know we’ve just had a nice conversation and everything but you’re Alastair bloody Campbell so I definitely need to be embarrassing and get a photo with you now” – or the myriad of fun drinks, dinners and Daily Mail bashings recently. I just thought I’d prove that I do occasionally leave the city.

Read it and weep, anyone-with-uncommon-letters-in-their-name

Read it and weep, anyone-with-uncommon-letters-in-their-name

(By the end of the week this had mutated again into a Rebecca Black-esque celebration of Friday. Made me smile.)

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3 Comments on :
A “fairly strenuous” walk

  1. Sanna says:

    Were you drunk when you wrote this?

  2. Red Dalek says:

    No! *raises eyebrows* In the future I might introduce a drunk/sober label to each post…

  3. Carolyn says:

    Parents are programmed to attempt to pass on often pointless and futile teaching to their long suffering offspring. It’s in the genes .x

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